The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Friday, July 31, 2009

War News for Friday, July 31, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Chief Warrant Officer Douglas M. Vose III died from small arms fire near Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, July 29th.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Pvt. Gerrick D. Smith died from injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident in Herat, Afghanistan on Wednesday, July 29th.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier from small arms fire - gun battle on Thursday, July 29th in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan. He died on Friday, July 30th.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of another American ISAF soldier from the same small arms fire - gun battle on Thursday, July 29th in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan.

July 28 airpower summary:

July 29 airpower summary:

UN: Civilian deaths up 24 percent in Afghanistan:

U.S. Adviser’s Blunt Memo on Iraq: Time ‘to Go Home’:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The deadliest attack Friday came when a car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Shaab, killing at least 20 people and wounding 17 others, said two Iraqi police officials. The casualties were confirmed by a medical official.

#2: At about the same time, near simultaneous explosions struck a Shiite mosque near the Diyala bridge, in southern Baghdad, killing four worshippers and wounding 17 others, the two officials said. An unexploded roadside bomb was also found nearby, they said.

#3: A roadside bomb exploded near a third mosque in the eastern Baghdad, wounding six worshippers.

#1: Four civilians were wounded when a rocket hit a house in northern Basra on Friday, a local security source in the province said. “The rocket was one of six Katyushas that targeted a military base of the Multi-National Force (MNF) at the Basra International Airport, 25 km) northwest of the city,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
“The results of the five rockets’ attack on the MNF base are not revealed so far,” he added.

#1: A man and a woman were killed and a child and a woman wounded when gunmen hurled a hand-grenade at their house in western Mosul city on Thursday night, a Ninewa police source said on Friday. “The grenade attack on a house in the area of Raas al-Jada, western Mosul, left a man and his wife killed and a woman and her 13-year-old boy wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Iraqi soldiers arrested a Moroccan man trying to plant a bomb in northern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Thursday, the Iraqi army said.

#3: Earlier police sources said that two policemen were killed Friday by a bomb targeting their patrol in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Four people were killed and eight others wounded in Thursday’s earlier car bomb blast in a residential area in western al-Anbar province, a security source said. “The explosion left four civilians, including two children, killed and eight others wounded,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A detachment of 12 Finnish troops and a Swedish officer came under fire in northern Afghanistan on Thursday, the Finnish Defence Forces said. The incident was the second time Finnish troops returned fire in Afghanistan, with the first such incident having taking place at the weekend. The military added that no one had been wounded in the 40-minute engagement.

The Swedish-Finnish military force in Afghanistan has come under fire for the fourth time in a two week period, news wire TT reports. The soldiers were on patrol in northern Afghanistan when they were fired at about 2 PM Swedish time. The patrol, which consisted of both Swedish and Finnish troops, fired back immediately. No one was said to be injured in the 40 minute attack.

#2: A Taliban ambush on a NATO convoy in western Afghanistan left nine insurgents and a policeman dead, a police official said Friday. Insurgents launched the attack Thursday with a roadside bomb against a vehicle of a private security firm escorting the NATO convoy, injuring three Afghan security guards, Herat police chief Gen. Esmatullah Alizai said. Alizai said nine insurgents and one police officer died in the gunbattle that followed.

#3: To the south of Herat, a Taliban unit also ambushed a convoy of electoral material in Farah province, a local official said. Insurgents killed four Afghan soldiers in the gunbattle but the ballots and other voting material were retrieved, Farah Gov. Roh ul-Amin said.

#4: He said insurgents also fired a rocket-propelled grenade into a damaged NATO fuel tanker truck nearby, seriously injuring 11 villagers who were trying to recover some of the fuel.

#5: Up to six civilians were either killed or wounded when a roadside bomb planted near a bridge hit their car in Aqcha district in northern Jawzjan province on Thursday evening, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#6: Afghan and NATO-led troops killed 11 Taliban insurgents during a ground and air assualt in the Nawa district of southwestern Ghazni province overnight, neighboring district governor, Mahboobullah, told Reuters

Casualty Reports:

SFC Mark Allen, the Georgia Army National Guard soldier based in Newnan who sustained a serious head wound in Afghanistan on July 8, is breathing on his own and opening his eyes at Bethesda Medical Center in Maryland. Though Allen is opening his eyes, he is "still not awake," Stokely said. "His pupils are dilated, so you can't be certain whether he is seeing you or focusing on you," he said. Morita sustained serious injuries to his hands and will need more surgery, but "otherwise, he is in pretty good over-all health," Stokely said. Benson's left hand is in a cast and he will need more work on that hand, but "his right hand is a lot better, and the stitches are out," Stokely said.

Army Spc. Andy "Sully" Sullens, a Dahlonega native wounded in a May 17 blast in Afghanistan. He was one of four Georgia Army National Guard members wounded when their Humvee ran over an explosive device while on patrol near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. he blast threw Sullens about 25 feet from the vehicle, knocking him unconscious. He suffered a broken hip and leg, along with severe burns

DoD: Chief Warrant Officer Douglas M. Vose III

DoD: Pvt. Gerrick D. Smith